Over at In Practice, Michaele Sommerville has posted her second essay on her jarring transition from teaching in a Title 1 school to working in a new school with abundant resources. Others have, of course, written of differences in resources available to children from different backgrounds, but Michaele eloquently articulates the differences in teaching across very inequitable settings:
Title-I teachers know there is a battle to be won, that the battle must be won. Our students, schools, and our jobs depend upon our skill. Teacher “burn out” is our battle fatigue.
Amongst the Title-I new hires, the inherent inclination to not only quickly learn whatever choreography was in place, but to act with urgency motored us through our first quarter of school, and affected not only our attempts to bond with new colleagues, but made us stand out like sore thumbs in regard to our open communication and persistent relationship building activities with students’ families.
Many of our new colleagues gave us a wide berth.
I’d linked to her first installment in this series yesterday. Both are worth a careful read.
And both make a compelling case for actively seeking the voices of many more teachers in policy debates over the education of poor and working class children.
UPDATE: Part 3 was published later today.